Metaldays - 2017

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Wednesday at Metaldays wasn’t a strong day for us. Even though it held some bands we wanted to see, other issues prevented us from following through on many of them. Abbath however, we were not going to miss, not if we had any say in it. And we did.

“It’s good to be back in the valley of metal!”
- Olve ‘Abbath’ Eikemo (vocals/guitar)

Even though I’d bet that Abbath (the person) would rather watch Groucho Marx than read Anton LaVey, Abbath (the band) is still a black metal band, and in that respect, it was odd seeing them take the main stage of Metaldays when the sun was still up, the sky was blue, and sprinkled with fluffy, white clouds. The sky, not the band.
On the other hand, Abbath (person. This is getting tiresome, let’s just call him by name from now on) is such a fun-loving stage personality, I can’t imagine him minding the timing one bit. The only problem was that the corpsepaint melted away little by little, but hey, what’cha gonna do?
Still only having one album out under its own moniker, Abbath still delivered a set of mainly original songs, sprinkled with some old Immortal and I material for good measure.
Eikemo delivered some hip-wiggling fun for the whole festival, and had many a fun one-liner to fill the gap between songs. Live guitarist Ole André ‘Raud’ Farstad was all smiles, and Tom Cato ‘King’ Visnes was up for fun and games as well.

“Are you feeling immortal tonight?!”
- Eikemo (vocals/guitar)

In fact, for all of Eikemo’s tricks, I’ll have to hand it to King - he was the king (pun intended) of the show. Early on, he showed signs of a little jig he had been working on, something that he developed further as the show went on, so that he ended up with a veritable dance routine by the time we reached Count The Dead. Already by Nebular Ravens Winter, it was a real crowd-pleaser though.
In general, the crowd seemed very pleased with what Abbath was giving them. The audience was large, although not tightly packed, and there was a happy little mosh going on in the middle of the grounds. The front was applauding along, and when the band reached the classic crowd-participation break in Tyrants, Abbath rejoiced in the great response they got. There was only one section that didn’t live up to the band’s demands, and those were the technicians in the sound tower - Eikemo called out for action, but only got a single set of raised devil horns in response.

There is of course one thing that this show will be remembered for above all else - the mighty raven fall, a.k.a. Abbath shall fall. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, there are more than a dozen videos up of it on Youtube. Towards the end of the show, Eikemo got down off the stage, and ran up the hill on the side greet the fans close and personal. This was all well and good, but when it got time to run back down again, he tripped, fell, and wildly rolled back down to the stage! Like the god of entertainment that he is, he just got up, dusted himself off, did a few dance steps, and was back on stage again to finish the show. What a guy!
I’m glad we got to see Abbath this day. The band’s always fun, but they all really gave it that extra nudge here, creating true entertainment. If there’s anyone left out there who doubts that black metal is built on the roots of rock ‘n’ roll, this right here was definite evidence - fun-loving guys having fun with what they do, and delivering a fun time for their fans.

Setlist (incomplete):

To War!
Ashes Of The Damned
Nebular Ravens Winter (Immortal cover)
Tyrants (Immortal cover)
One By One (Immortal cover)
Fenrir Hunts
Warriors (I cover)
Count The Dead
All Shall Fall (Immortal cover)

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